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iTunes 11 for Windows: Set up syncing for iPod, iPhone, or iPad

Set up syncing for iPod, iPhone, or iPad

You can set up your iPod, iPhone, or iPad for automatic or manual syncing.

  • Automatic syncing:
    Sync your entire iTunes library or choose specific items to sync. Whenever you connect your device, iTunes updates it automatically to match any changes made to your library since the last sync. You can automatically sync a device with only one iTunes library at a time.
  • Manual syncing:
    Drag items to your device individually.

With either syncing method, you can also fill any available space on your device with a random selection of songs by using Autofill.

You can change your sync settings any time you connect the device to your computer.

Select items to sync automatically

  1. Connect your iPod, iPhone, or iPad to your computer and select your device.

  2. Select the type of media you want to sync.

    The types of media you can sync depends on your device. For more information, see Sync and organize iOS apps and Add photos to iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

  3. Select the Sync checkbox, and select the items you want to sync automatically each time you connect your device.

    Click a button to select the kind of content you want to sync, then select the sync checkbox and select the items you want to sync automatically

    The bar at the bottom of the window shows how much space will remain on your device after you sync.

    Move the pointer over the bar to view details about the content you're syncing, and see how much space is left for more content
  4. When you’re ready to sync, click Apply.

Tip:   To make sure certain items are never synced, deselect their checkboxes in your iTunes library, and select “Sync only checked items” in the Summary pane.

You can automatically sync your iTunes library to multiple devices, and use different settings for each device.

WARNING:   If you delete a synced item from your iTunes library, the deleted item is removed from your device the next time you sync.

Sync your device manually

If you use manual syncing, you can sync items from more than one iTunes library to your iPod. (You can sync iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad with only one iTunes library.)

You can manually sync music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and iTunes U lessons. You can’t manually sync photos and info (contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and so on).

  1. Connect your iPod, iPhone, or iPad to your computer and select your device.

  2. Click the Summary button and select “Manually manage music and videos” (below Options).

  3. Click the On This Device button.

    The On This Device button near the top of the iTunes window
  4. Click Add To Icon of a plus sign and a list on the right side of the iTunes window.

  5. Drag items from the left side of the iTunes window to the pane on the right. To add other types of content, choose a category from the Library pop-up menu.

    The Library pop-up menu, with Music chosen
  6. Click Done.

If you use automatic syncing, you can also add items to your device by dragging. To drag items to an automatically synced device, follow the instructions above, but skip step 2.

Quickly add an item to a connected device

You can add items to a connected device directly from your iTunes library, without using the syncing controls.

  1. Start dragging the item (or items) you want to add.

    A pane with a list of connected devices appears on the right.

  2. Drag the item to a device in the list.

    A screenshot of an album being dragged to a device, the device is highlighted

Use Autofill to add songs

  1. Connect your iPod, iPhone, or iPad to your computer and select your device.

  2. Click the On This Device button.

    The On This Device button near the top of the iTunes window
  3. Select Music on the left side of the iTunes window.

    Arrow pointing at Music on the left side of the iTunes window
  4. Choose which songs you want to sync from the Autofill pop-up menu at the bottom of the Music pane:

    Menus for Autofill
  5. To adjust Autofill settings, click Settings.

    Autofill Settings window
  6. When you’re done, click OK.

  7. Click Autofill.

Each time you use Autofill, iTunes adds different songs to your device.

Last Modified: Nov 5, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Nov 5, 2013
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